If everyone embraced statistical analysis, I'd probably love "Old-school scouts." (tm Free San Jose)
I think this is a wonderfully controversial opinion, and not because it's controversial in a traditional way, but rather because it (at least for me) stirs up a little conflict within myself.
I love baseball. I love the crack of the bat, the cut of the grass, the sound of the crowd, lazy summer days at the ballpark, the history of the game, the emotional moments, the champagne, the parades, and basically everything about the sport but the way it is run, marketed, and delivered to us.
However, my baseball love has increased ten-fold over the last few years by having my team crowned the pariah of Major League Baseball; the team that does things a little bit differently, and more than a little bit wrong. Everyone knows that scouts are the way to go; that gritty, clutchy, old-school baseball cannot be replicated by fancy computers, numbers such as WHIP and OBP, and involving people who have never Played The Game.
There's something akin to being part of a secret club by following the recent A's, and although I especially felt it right after the Moneyball introduction, it's still there.
I complain about baseball analysts holding to 'gut feelings' even though they have been proven wrong, yet I secretly love when they do. I feel like I have learned something on my own, not from 'experts'.
I complain about the A's payroll, and although I recognize it would be insane to not want the Yankees payroll, I don't want the Yankees payroll. Games like Monopoly would be a lot less fun if you had unlimited funds.
I complain about the amount of media attention given to the A's, but would I want it any other way? By being off the national radar, it makes them my team, not America's.
I complain about the lack of fans at A's games, and although I know there is a need to sell-out each game for a myriad of reasons, I feel the fans that are there are real fans of baseball.
I'd like to believe that I wouldn't like baseball any less if everybody jumped onto the statistical bandwagon and started praising the A's for their easy willingness to exploit market inefficiencies to compete in a market that seems out of their league.
But if I'm honest...I did use the phrase "like to believe".